Auburn tribe members Jessica Tavares, Dolly Suehead, Donna Caesar, and Barbara Suehead (plaintiffs) petitioned to recall members of the United Auburn Indian Community Tribal Council (defendants) and circulated press releases accusing them of dishonest financial dealings. The council voted to ban the four women temporarily from tribal lands and facilities and withhold their per capita payments. The women sued under § 1303 of the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA), challenging the legality of the council’s punishment. The trial court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, reasoning that the punishment did not amount to a detention sufficient to invoke federal habeas jurisdiction under the statute. The women appealed.